What medications can change the colors of your urine?

Discovery Health

If your urine is any color other than yellowish-orange, yellow or clear-you could have a serious medical condition. Very dark orange, reddish or brown urine, for instance, likely has blood in it and could be a sign of infection.

There are some prescription drugs, however, that can change the color of your urine simply by passing through your system.

Red urine can result, for instance, by taking drugs such as deferoxamine, which is used to treat iron poisoning or phenazopyridine, which is prescribed to treat urinary tract infection pain.

Here are some other potential urine colors and some of the drugs that can cause them:

  • Black-can result from taking furazolidone, Flagyl (generic name metronidazole), and other antibiotics. Aldomet (generic name methyldopa), which is used to treat high blood pressure in pregnant women, also can make urine look black because it darkens upon contact with bleach-frequently used to clean toilet bowls.
  • Purple-can be a side effect of taking phenolphthalein, a medication that has long been used as a laxative, but is falling out of favor because of concerns that it may cause cancer.
  • Green-can result from taking Robaxin (generic name methocarbamol), which is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms and Elavil (generic name amitriptyline hydrochloride), which is an antidepressant also used to treat children who wet the bed.
  • Blue-can result as a side effect of taking Dyrenium (generic name tariamterene), which is a diuretic, or by taking methylene blue, a chemical compound used in medications like Urised which seek to reduce irritation resulting from bladder infections.

Continue Learning about Healthy Kidneys & Urinary System

Healthy Kidneys & Urinary System

Your kidneys are shaped like beans and are about the size of your fist. They play a vital role in keeping the chemicals and water in your body balanced. Your urinary system removes a waste called urea from your blood after the foo...

d you eat is broken down in your body. Problems can occur in your kidneys and urinary system from aging, from illnesses or from injury. These problems can range from minor to life-threatening. If you're having kidney or urinary tract problems, you should see your doctor for an evaluation.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.